Mr. Andris Piebalgs,Key-Note Speaker, EU-Energy Commissioner
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was officially established in Bonn on January 26 2009. The founding of IRENA is a milestone for world renewable energy supply and a clear sign that the global energy paradigm is changing due to the accelerating commitment from governments.
125 delegations attended the Founding Conference and a total of 75 nations, developing and industrialised alike, signed the Agencys Statute. Many other nations expressed their strong commitment to IRENAs goals and their intention to join in the near future. Some of the founding members include: France, Italy, Poland, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Guatemala, Chile and Argentina.
The conference was chaired by Germany's Federal Environment Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, and Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul. Since Denmark and Spain had actively supported Germany in IRENAs development from the beginning, the respective Ministers, Connie Hedegaard (Danish Minister for Climate and Energy) and Miguel Sebastin Gascn (Spanish Minister for Trade, Industry and Tourism) were elected Vice-Chairs.
The aim of the new Agency is to promote a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide. IRENA is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on renewable energies, addressing both industrialised and developing worlds needs. IRENA will offer advice to its members on creating appropriate framework conditions, undertake capacity building as well as foster the dissemination of and learning from best practice examples for technology transfer and financing of renewable energies. IRENA will closely cooperate with other international organisations and institutions active in the field of renewable energy.
The Agency began its work only a day after the Founding Conference - 27 January 2009. During the first session of the Preparatory Commission, the Agencys interim body, the Signatories adopted criteria and procedures for selecting IRENAs Interim Director-General and its interim headquarters and invited all members to submit offers and nominations by 30 April 2009. They also created the institutional framework that will allow IRENA to embark on first elements of its work programme. The Preparatory Commission welcomed Egypts invitation to host the next session, scheduled for 29 to 30 June 2009. Decisions concerning the Interim Director-General and interim headquarters will be made during that session.Download all documents regarding the Founding Conference